Sunday, December 20, 2015

What are poems for?


                                      

A serious man

soft-spoken

red bandana


lost along a roadway

raised away from parents

exile


lost yourself in demonstrations

far from home

walked over the mountains

exile

5 days into China

tortured and beaten three months

to lead resistance


questions

amidst fists:

Why have you come
Who do you know
Who sent you

shadowy

railroaded
all the way to Lhasa in a cell

red flag
betraying

I studied English at Mumbai

poetry

Keats   Shelley
in another tongue

interrogators do not believe

Mumbai

words have power


poetry

clear as the sweeping headwaters of the Brahmaputra

roiling Tibet

turn swiftly down

at the Great Bend

rush down down down

to water Asia


poetry

fine mountain snow

circling

down down down

on the yak herder

20,000 feet of night


cordoned in cities

with a protective scroll

tiny houses

of beautiful images

no grass


and words
  

investigators took pity

not your need


sent you out of China

where Indian authorities

held you for a month

perhaps brainwashed

a spy for Beijing


anyone but 

a maker of the words

that saved you


imagining the lost fathers

who fought

betrayed perhaps

by nonviolence


or a homeland you have barely seen

perhaps the prison cells


or a warrior Tibet

cutting throats

but now

fighter of anger and greed


conjuring

a free Kom Amdo


the fiery invisible

U-tsang


and you and others

sword of nonviolence

blindly exiled


day by day

within it

No comments:

Post a Comment